3 July 2023
The recent spot check by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) ought to be praised instead of criticised, said Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) secretary Alan Ling.
He said he believed Tiong had no personal agenda when making the visit to the airport upon learning of difficulties faced by a China tourist in entering Malaysia.
“I trust Tiong must have reason to personally drop by in his attempt to discover what happened to the tourist, who was said to be denied entry or queried.
“Every minister, deputy minister and top government servant must ‘turun padang’ (go to the ground) frequently — even without prior notice — so that they can see the real situation at the location.
“Don’t plan an official visit where everything is well presented, then your visit will serve no purpose except for formality,” Ling said in a statement yesterday.
It was reported that Tiong had allegedly caused a commotion by entering the international arrival hall to help a Chinese citizen who was denied entry into the country.
The minister then allegedly scolded KLIA auxiliary police and immigration officers while trying to help the Chinese national.
Tiong in a statement after that said his visit to KLIA had exposed alleged corruption activities at the country’s main gateway.
Ling in his statement said as far as he knew, those from China must first get their visa approved before coming into Malaysia, as Malaysia does not practise Visa on Arrival for China tourists, except for those holding diplomatic passports or having Apec Business Travel Card.
“An immigration officer is the first person most tourists meet upon stepping into the arrival hall. Thus, they must be friendly and conduct verification ethically, professionally and without prejudice against any foreign national,” he added.
Ling also said that the Home Ministry needed to pay more attention to Immigration Department personnel in airports and all checkpoints, to make sure that there were no “hanky-panky activities” which could tarnish the country’s image.
He also proposed that a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) be adopted in overcoming all the negativity and bad perception cast on the Immigration Department, especially in services rendered to tourists at borders and checkpoints.
“The Immigration Department should in fact take the discovery and revelation by the minister (Tiong) openly and conduct self-evaluation, as well as accept the concern from the general public.
“They should take the cue to change for the better so that the Immigration Department can be a world-class government organisation that is well respected by everyone,” he said. — Borneo Post Online
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